San Antonio officials issue stern pre-holiday warning as city reports new record in COVID-19 cases

Twitter / Ron_Nirenberg
Bexar County reported 1,717 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday — a single-day record — prompting an emergency text alert and stern warnings from local officials.

With rates rising before the Christmas holiday, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff warned that gatherings of people outside of residents' immediate households will worsen the surge. In addition to its new case record, the San Antonio area tallied 912 hospitalizations and 11 new deaths Tuesday.

“We’re in trouble, Bexar County," Wolff said during the evening's coronavirus press briefing. "I am pleading with all of you as we start the holidays, please celebrate only with those in your immediate family and household. This virus spreads so easily between people."

At 7 p.m., an emergency text alert went out to local residents detailing the latest case and hospitalization numbers and providing a link to safety tips for the holidays.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg followed up the alert with a tweeted video message urging San Antonians to celebrate only with those in their households.

"Nearly one out of ever four San Antonians in the hospital is sick with COVID-19, and we've lost 11 more neighbors," the mayor said. "We can't continue with this this trend. Just like with Thanksgiving, nobody's cancelling Christmas or New Year's Eve, but we have to adjust our annual traditions to ensure we protect ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors."

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